Is There Success in a Photography Mentorship?
Can this make a difference, enhance my learning and keep me focused, build community and take me to the next level?
Meet Marjorie, she is an aspiring and talented photographer who found new creative vision through the online mentorship programs on Google Plus.
Marjorie is a student of mine who has successfully complete a couple of my online mentorship courses. I could tell you all about how Enhancing Creativity has helped her expand her creative vision and move toward a beautiful subtle and mature style of fine art photography, but I won’t. Instead I will share with you what she had to say about it and post a few of the images that have in some way been inspired by things she learned in the program….
click for a larger view….
In her own words…..
G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers
“A little more than a year ago, I came across a unique program, the “G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers”. I was new to Google Plus, and really had no idea of the incredible power and diversity of this space. I had no idea what this program was going to do for me, but I knew I needed a creative “kick in the pants”. I signed up and was invited to take part in the Auditing group. Your open and friendly approach and constant encouragement to push through creative blocks was refreshing. Over 8 weeks, as we covered topics ranging from compositional rules, the ins and outs of composing with colour, using perspective, negative space, evoking emotion and reaction (all potentially daunting subjects) a transformation started to happen. Learning and practicing, constantly thinking and internalizing information, helped me to reach past the plateau that I was on.
As I completed the program, I made some other realizations that are as important, if not more important, than the photographic skills I developed. Connecting, sharing, and reaching out to others are absolutely essential to skill development (and personal development…it all goes hand in hand – living your art!) Photography has always been a largely private and solitary activity for me. Sharing and connecting, opening up, have been my biggest personal challenges. Getting feedback and critique, and being encouraged in the mentorship program helped me be more open in the wider G+ arena, and elsewhere. My goal for the year was to bring my photography to a new level. Without a doubt the Mentorship Program planted the seed that allowed the growth I’ve had over the past year. My drive to know and understand more is stronger than ever. I’m tackling subjects on art theory I never would have imagined (Gestalt theory, anyone?)
I still struggle, (thank goodness!) but now I have more confidence than before to keep working, because I know the breakthrough will happen. I still struggle with opening up, and I am (slowly) gaining confidence there too. It is hard for me to share what is often a very emotional process. Struggle is good. Difficult is good. Because nothing worth doing is ever easy”.
This is such an exciting time in history. Never before has there been so many wonderful tools available to enable such a program to be put into place. Through the Google Plus social platform I have been able to create these small group mentorships and engage them using private G+ communities as a place to post assignments and see assignments when completed. It’s a safe encouraging environment free from the distractions of the rest of the online world. We use the Hangouts feature to meet online and use it to do live workflow demonstrations and critiques via screen sharing and have group interaction with up to 9 people at once. I have also been able integrate Blogger into the lessons to give linked content and image rich assignments to my students.
It is important for you to know I am not simply saying this is a transformational approach because I developed the courses. It has to come from those who have gone through the process and been changed by it. At the bottom of each course page I have been including the testimonies of those who have gone before to help encourage you to try this unique and uplifting style of learning. Go on over to the description pages of my site Enhancing Creativity, Finding Your Voice and Layers Masks and Modes, oh My! and read a few for yourself, then sign up for a new adventure.
What The Students Say
This program has been absolutely amazing! I have learned so much about myself as a photographer, about different ways of approaching photography and most importantly, I have made even more amazingly valuable connections. I have learned so much from all of the people involved and it’s been great to have their support and encouragement! And that is to say nothing of you, Yoda, my Jedi Master! [Ron] Your help, kindness, small pushes to go outside comfort zones and [your] friendship have made this one of my most treasured learning experiences! I have decided that you must keep us on forever! 😀 – Shannon Brearley
Ron Clifford, Thank you for putting some smooth edges on my rough edges. You are now part of my photographic inspirations and my photography is better for it. You wrote, “once we truly understood that seeing: logically + emotionally = story and put it into practice, it would change us as a creative person…….forever”. I am forever changed! It would be my honor to work with you in the future.
Ron Clifford – “Enhancing Your Creativity” made me take a long, hard look at myself and ask the question “What are you trying to say with your photos?” Your direction, support, encouragement and knowledge guided me through a turning point in my photography. From contorting my body to contorting my brain, you taught me to think about my shooting and the important elements to consider to achieve my vision. For that, I thank you. It was a lot of work, but I already see improvements in my photography and the approaches I take in my shooting – John Watkins